Raja Ampat Snorkeling Tour, April, 2016 Trip Report

Raja Ampat April trip report. Coral Triangle Adventures just completed another spectacular journey through the islands of Raja Ampat. This magical region is so large that there is no way in just one trip to adequately cover the best snorkeling sites between all of the islands and so we decided to focus on the northern part of Raja Ampat during this itinerary. Our explorations first took us from Sorong northward through the Dampier Strait. As always, the snorkeling sites in this expanse of water were incredibly “fishy,” chock full of both schooling predators and prey.

We then sailed further north, accessing beautiful fringing reefs that abutted blue water mangrove and seagrass communities before crossing the equator to visit the iconic limestone islands of Wayag. Sunny skies gave us the chance to cruis ethrough this majestic archipelago. Next on this unique program was a visit to the island of western Waigeo where some of the world’s richest snorkeling sites for invertebrates can be found. Vibrant nudibranchs, flatworms, soft corals, sponges, and tunicates cover the shallow walls in this special and dynamic area. But the invertebrates are only part of the thrill. tasseled wobbegongs, Raja Ampat epaulette sharks, and hundreds of species of colorful reef fish are also common on snorkels in this amazing area. To conclude our adventure we spent time in the Fam Islands and northern Batanta where clear waters make for spectacular habitats for both reef-building and soft corals.

As normal, unbelievably nice weather followed us whichever way we turned in Raja Ampat and the reefs and fish populations looked as healthy as ever. We now look forward to our next journey to this famed destination later this year.